Meet the Maker

I'm doing this photo challenge all through March on Instagram but thought I'd share here too, with slightly different captions. I'll just update once a week so it doesn't get tedious! I'm marcelinesmith on IG if you want to follow my daily posts.
  1. 1.
    You (i.e. Me)
    Here I am immortalised in felt by my (elder!) sister. It also represents three of my favourite things: space, bunnies and making things 🚀🐰✂️ If you don't know, I design cute character goods under the name Asking For Trouble.
  2. 2.
    Favourite to make
    Definitely repeat patterns for me. They can be simple or brain breakingly complicated but I always enjoy the process. Here's a few of my patterned products that I use every day - scarf, notebooks and pen!
  3. 3.
    Your workspace
    This is the view from my desk where I pack orders and do paper cutting. Most other tasks happen on the sofa because I have RSI and can't do computer work at a desk. It's also one of the reasons I became self employed!
  4. 4.
    I use so many different things but here's where I reach most often: my pots of pens and pencils (and amigurumi bear lollipops!)
  5. 5.
    I hadn't really played with this app before which is one of the reasons I like doing these challenges. We have to do a time lapse video later! Here's a flip through my pick and mix wrapping paper box (as a rubbish gif instead)
  6. 6.
    Raw materials
    I design repeat patterns for fabric and get them printed by Spoonflower. These arrived recently and are being sewn up into pencil cases by my mum!
  7. 7.
    How it's made
    Most of my products are made by other people these days but I still have to finish them off myself. This is everything I need to get a magnetic Meal Planner pad ready for sale.
  8. 8.
    I've been living in Helensburgh for almost 3 years now and I love it! I missed the sea when I lived in Glasgow and now it's just a minute from my door. I never get tired of looking at this view. If you don't know Helensburgh, it's on the west coast of Scotland and is famous for John Logie Baird (the inventor of television!), paddle steamers (the Waverley still visits in summer) and Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House. Come visit sometime!
  9. 9.
    Work in Progress
    I hardly ever share projects until they're finished as I'm always worried something will go wrong! Here's some mockups of new limited edition badges I ordered recently so look out for these soon (if they turn out okay...).
  10. 10.
    Recommend a Maker
    So difficult but I ended up picking Serious Stamp who makes all my polymer stamps. I love collaborating with other makers and mass-produced stamps would never have been this cute!
  11. 11.
    Post / Mail
    I love my do not bend banana stickers and I hope they make my buyers smile too!
  12. 12.
    Brand Image
    My brand is cute, colourful and friendly, which includes using my own (illustrated) face so people know that I'm not a faceless corporation but someone who really cares about every order. I also changed my domain name last year with extreme trepidation but it's only had a positive effect so I wish I hadn't waited so long!
  13. 13.
    My super professional product photo setup! Luckily my flat has huge windows so I just need some white boards and wallpaper. My camera and a bit of Photoshop editing does the rest. My product photography isn't the greatest but I'm always improving - buying a better camera (a Nikon Coolpix) has helped so much.
  14. 14.
    Creative Friends
    This was a lot of mushy stuff about two of my oldest friends. The photo is of a shared stall we had in our early days when we made everything by hand. My stuff is in the bottom left - I made purses and felt brooches and paper covered notebooks. I've come a long way now!
  15. 15.
    Work Clothes
    While the freedom to wear whatever I like is a major bonus of self-employment, I'm proud to say I very rarely work in my pyjamas! I do wear my cute fox slippers all the time though (and still own the best doormat) 🦊🦊
  16. 16.
    Time to Relax
    I used to be a workaholic but I'm much more sensible now and generally don't work in the evenings. Instead I cosy up on the sofa with my comforter and doodle on my new iPad, write for fun on or just watch TV.
  17. 17.
    I love seeing photos from my customers and reading their comments but it's especially exciting to get something back in the post! How cute is this postcard from my small friend Dulcie? She's been putting her Cookie stamp to good use 🙂
  18. 18.
    I made you a donut! I didn't actually get to use Hyperlapse as Procreate already speeds it up. I much prefer drawing in Adobe Sketch but it doesn't do videos. (Low quality gif alert - the IG video is much better!)
  19. 19.
    My mum sews up all my fabric coin purses and pencil cases and it's safe to say they wouldn't exist without her as I don't have the patience!
  20. 20.
    I keep notes, ideas and doodles all over the place but my iPad is the most photogenic! I'm still having fun playing with different brushes and techniques to find out what works best for me.
  21. 21.
    There's a very obvious answer to this one: Japan! Every time I visit I come home full of new ideas, and I'm constantly inspired to do better by seeing all the new characters and themes that my favourite designers come up with. I picked out a kawaii moment from each of my four trips and now I want to go back again 😫
  22. 22.
    Close Up
    There's been a sad lack of ghosts in these posts so here's some lovely fabric texture on one of my coin purses 👻👻👻 I'm always impressed by how much detail Spoonflower manages to print, even at small sizes.
  23. 23.
    Recent Make
    Most of what I've been working on is still a secret but I made this Easter pattern for fun last weekend using the characters from my free Easter garland 🐰🐣 It's available on lots of cool stuff at Society6 and Redbubble too.
  24. 24.
    I have a big one coming up this summer as Asking For Trouble will be 10 years old! I'm planning some fun things to celebrate and definitely want to make another batch of surprise boxes. This is the Japan-themed box I put together after my trip last year.
  25. 25.
    My new-ish stamp packaging is one of my favourites - you can fit 1-3 stamps in it so great for mix and match orders.
  26. 26.
    Why I Do This
    I was a bit stumped by this prompt but the answer is in my business tagline - it's all about making people smile! If I can add a little happiness to someone's day then it's time well spent. Even if I'm just photoshopping a face on a baby courgette 😊
  27. 27.
    I don't set many goals as life's unexpected opportunities usually derail them but I do really want to finish my second Japan book this year. My first one is such a nice permanent record of my first three trips and I don't want to forget all the fun I had last year. If you haven't read my book, it's only £3 for a digital copy and paperbacks are available too.
  28. 28.
    My studio organisation isn't very interesting so here's how I keep two blogs organised - with a Google calendar. The blue is Asking For Trouble and the yellow is Super Cute Kawaii. Since SCK has 3 staff writers and sponsored giveaways & reviews I need to have everything planned in advance to make sure posts are scheduled for the correct date. This is easy to keep an eye on and I can move things around.
  29. 29.
    Can't Live Without
    I'm going for books as they let me switch off from all my business and life stuff. I don't check my phone after about 10pm and instead tuck myself up with a good long book. I mostly read on my Kindle now but still can't resist buying pretty books
  30. 30.
    Top Tip
    I saw these guys and they reminded me of a good one: don't feel bad about your mistakes! We all make them and you should use them as an opportunity. They can teach you new skills, push you in new directions or just give someone a good laugh and show that no-one's perfect. These cookies arrived without their icing line due some miscommunication but I'm going to try painting them and see what happens.
  31. 31.
    I'm so grateful for every order I get, however big or small, as my business wouldn't be much without my customers. I always try to add a little doodle to my orders to thank you personally 🍎
  32. 32.
    Thanks for following along and I hope you've enjoyed my photos - it's been lots of fun!
    PS there's 15% off everything in my shop (link in profile) until Sunday night with the code MEETTHEMAKER2017 and li.sters are quite welcome to use it! 😊